The University of Vanderbilt students are the creators of the nano-spirals that can prevent identity theft easily and at a low cost.
These nano-spirals, also known as Archimedes spirals are invisible to the human eye and certainly fit for printing on identity cards, credit cards or currency to prevent counterfeiting and identity theft.
Ultrafast lasers were used to specifically identify their characteristics and optical particularities. The laser tests were conducted at the Vanderbilt University, as well as at the Pacific Northwest National Library, located in Richland, Washington.
Ph.D. fellow Roderick Davidson II from the Vanderbilt University declared:
“They are certainly smaller than any of the spirals we’ve found reported in the scientific literature”.
Both Roderick Davidson II and Jed Ziegler who is now part of the team at the Naval Research Laboratory designed the nano-spirals and thoroughly studied their optical characteristics and their appliance.
The exposure to normal wavelengths of light shows no trace of the Archimedes spirals. Only when they are exposed to infrared light, they show on the surface where they are imprinted. In their exposure to polarized laser light they also exhibit a unique response.
From the rotation of the polarized light, the nano-spirals stemm a variety of blue light wavelengths, making it impossible to be counterfeited by usual, non-laboratory means. Due to these unique features the Archimedes spirals provide one of a kind signatures that are easily customizable but hard to reproduce for counterfeiting purposes.
These signatures can be detected only by using a special toolkit of sensors. Their creators stated that without this toolkit, even 100 nano-spirals placed one next to the other are utterly invisible.
Not to mention that the production of the Archimedes spirals is surprisingly inexpensive. The materials may be precious metals such as gold, platinum or silver, yet the nano quantities would provide sufficient incentive for the implementation of this new anti-theft and counterfeiting measure.
Additionally, the nano-spirals can be imprinted on a variety of surfaces, from paper to plastic to other substrates. To prove this point, the two researchers imprinted them on glass via electron-beam lithography.
The precious metals that they are designed of makes it impossible to break, erase or chemically degradation process that they would be subjected to.
The fascinating history of the nano-spirals or the Archimedes spirals and their characteristics, as well as their applicability is detailed in the Journal of Nanophotonics.
Image Source: yibada.com
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